Keith Johnson, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It didn't matter that Utah led 30-0 at the time. When quarterback Jordan Wynn was sacked by Wyoming defensive tackle Ben Durbin early in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's game in Laramie, the offensive line took it hard. It was the first and only sack the starters have given up this season.
"I thought we had it picked up. We had three guys on two. One little mistake led to a sack," said center Zane Taylor. "It hurt. It hurt enough that we are going to put in a lot of work into making sure it doesn't happen again this season."
Right tackle Tony Bergstrom called the sack "heartbreaking." His teammates on the left side, where Durbin slipped through, were inconsolable after the 30-6 victory.
"They didn't say a word the whole way home," Bergstrom said. "They were ticked."
And though it was just one sack, he added, it was still a hit on Wynn.
"He's a fragile guy," Bergstrom mused. "We don't want anyone to come within arm's distance of him."
Wynn acknowledged the sack was disappointing. He joined the offensive line in taking pride in not having surrendered one.
"It can't be fully blamed on the offensive line," Wynn said. "Wyoming did a pretty good job covering the route structure. But, you know, it happens. ... You've just got to keep going."
That's the plan.
Bergstrom said the starters are eager to start a new streak.
Utah enters Saturday's game against Colorado State ranked second nationally in sacks allowed. The Utes, whose reserves gave up a sack at New Mexico earlier in the season, have allowed just two all season long — tying them with Marshall and Oregon. Boise State tops the country. The Broncos have given up only one through six games, same as Utah's first unit.
"It's pretty good, but obviously it could be better," Taylor said. "This team, we're not happy or content with being mediocre. We want to be the best."
Utah currently leads the Mountain West Conference in scoring offense (45.8 points per game) and pass efficiency offense (169.5 rating) — ranking fourth and fifth, respectively, in the nation.
The Utes are also among the leaders in passing offense (248.3 ypg), rushing offense (188.7 ypg) and total offense (437 ypg).
Much of the credit goes to the offensive line and starters Bergstrom, Taylor, right guard Tevita Stevens, left tackle John Cullen and left guard Caleb Schlauderaff.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is quite pleased with their performance.
"If we can give up one sack every six games, we'll take that. They've done an outstanding job this year," he said. "They really are the nucleus of the offense. The primary reason for our success on offense this year can be directly attributed to the offensive line."
Utes on the air
Colorado State (2-5, 1-2 MWC) at No. 9 Utah (6-0, 3-0)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV: The mtn.
Radio: 700 AM
- For Star Lotulelei, Super Bowl loss leaves...
- Dick Harmon: BYU's Harvey Unga to assist...
- Copper Hills lives up to expectations with...
- Rudy Gobert made Suns pay for Foul-A-Frenchie...
- Mike Sorensen: Manning's storybook ending...
- Cougars regrouping, going back on the road...
- Oregon overpowers Utes for 76-66 victory
- Nick Emery's freshman season at BYU filled...
- Utes drop heartbreaker at Oregon State,... 103
- Morning links: Grading the BYU, Utah... 84
- Cold-shooting BYU loses stunner to... 66
- Dick Harmon: BYU's Sitake hired... 33
- Brad Rock: Recruiting day puts Utes in... 29
- Dick Harmon: BYU's Harvey Unga to... 29
- Defense, rebounding, big second half... 22
- Brad Rock: No BYU, but no regrets for... 22